If you are a marketer working at a school, you have a wealth of valuable data available to use. Your school database, consisting of past, present and future student and family information, is an incredible resource that you can use to leverage future enrolments.
In order to get the most out of your data, however, there are a few things you need to get in order. In this guide, we look at your school database through a marketing lens to walk through the steps to best leverage enrolments.
1. Clean up your contacts
Before you can get to work, you need to make sure your school records are in the best shape possible. Data cleansing means removing all of the outdated and incorrect information that you’ve built up over the years. It also means updating, correcting and consolidating family details to the best of your ability.
Dirty data can become overwhelming very quickly. It’s hard to find the information that you need quickly because you have to wade through dozens of old records or try several contact methods before you get to the one you’re looking for. Clean data, on the other hand, will help you get the most out of your database because you are only using up-to-date, high-quality information about your customers.
2. Move your database into a CRM
A lot of schools are heavy spreadsheet users. While spreadsheets are easy for anyone in your team to update, they are time-consuming to manage as they require significant manual data entry to keep them up to date. It’s also hard to analyse your database, move the data into other applications (like your learning management system) or run reports with it.
Once your records are in working order, move your database into a school customer relationship manager (CRM). A CRM is a system that can help your school manage the entire lifecycle of a family or student, from awareness about your school, through to enrolment and beyond. It collects and stores every interaction that your school has with them, either manually or automatically.
CRMs can help you keep data consistent across all of your school systems, as they usually integrate with each other. This means that when one record is updated, the update can be translated across your other systems, reducing incorrect or outdated information
Once your data has been moved into a CRM, you have the ability to easily segment families and students by particular attributes, such as by how far along they are in their enrolment journey. You can also assign attributes about their interests, demographics, behaviour or more.
3. Create personalised messaging
Now that your contacts are segmented into groups, you can start creating targeted communication that addresses the things that they would be interested in, or that would affect their family. For example, if you have a segment of parents with one child enrolled in school, send out targeted messaging about discounts for enrolling siblings around enrolment periods. If you have a segment of families who are interested in music, send them targeted messaging about your school’s music program.
Many CRMs also offer the ability to merge someone’s name into email communications, so even if you are sending the same email to a wide net, the communication feels personalised.
4. Check-in regularly and track engagement
A family may sit in your database for years before they will be ready to enrol their child. Use your CRM to set up regular check-ins and touchpoints with the prospective family to ensure your school is kept top-of-mind. Whether it’s email communication about school news, invitations to tours and open days or phone calls to simply check-in, CRMs allow you to track all of your communications and touchpoints.
This gives your team a better picture of how a prospective family has interacted with your school, and how to engage them in the future.
It’s comforting to know that some of the most valuable information you need to leverage enrolments is already contained within your school records. However, it can be overwhelming to put it to use. If you are interested in exploring a custom school CRM, talk to the friendly Digistorm team for more information